A popular joke/meme on the internet says that you never realize how precious breathing is till your nose gets congested. Whether it be the allergies of spring, the colds of winter, or the evergreen sinus problems, a blocked nose can basically block everything, hampering productivity, making us feel lethargic and irritated, and disrupting sleep.
However, there are some simple home remedies that you can use to help you out – and perhaps one of the best and most recommended ones amongst these is the neti pot. As the name suggests, the neti pot is a container that helps in clearing debris and mucus from your nostrils, clearing up the passage to allow you to breathe easily and deeply once again. The usage of the neti pot originated in India and has been a common practice of Ayurveda to deal with clogged noses in the subcontinent. Though studies have been inconclusive about how much impact the practice has on the roots of the problem (such as sinus or a cold), thereby and large unanimous agreement that this practice is certainly restorative, cleansing, and can help you in breathing properly again.
Using a neti pot is a very simple process, which involves the following steps –
- Gather all the ingredients, which includes
- A neti pot, easily available online and in pharmacies
- Lukewarm water, either from sterile water, boiled tap water, or filtered water using a filterless than 1 micron or smaller in size.
- Salt, preferably one that is not used for other purposes such as cooking, and non-iodized
- And a small amount of baking soda
- Mix together the ingredients in lukewarm water and pour them into the neti pot. Stand at the edge of the sinks, and place the spout of the pot into one of the nostrils.
- Tilt your head and allow the water to flow through – it will go up the nasal passage and come out the other nostril. Be sure to breathe through your mouth during the process.
- Repeat on the other side
- After you are finished, gently blow your nose and gargle with water.
Though it can be a little uncomfortable for some people first, you will feel better immediately post a neti pot cleanse, and you can try varying the frequency and duration and see what works for you.
Before you try out this amazing home remedy, however, there are some important points you should keep in mind –
- In rare cases, you may face pain or even the sensation of gagging, which usually indicate that you are performing the cleanse with too much pressure. Reduce the flow of the water, and you should feel better.
- Sterility of all the things you use is of the utmost importance, as it can otherwise increase the risk of infections. Be sure you clean your neti pot thoroughly after every use with soap and water, get inside it well with a brush, and allow it to air dry in the sun. It is also a good idea to get everybody in the family a separate neti pot.
- It is also important that your water is lukewarm – not too hot, nor too cold – and it should also be sterile. Go for sterile bottled water, tap water that is boiled and allowed to cool down, or water filtered with a filter of less than 1 micron in size.
- Remember that the process can be a little uneasy-feeling, but it should not be painful on any account. Immediately discontinue use if you are feeling any pain, and consult a doctor who will help guide you through possible reasons and proper uses of the neti pot.
Hence, with the appropriate precautions, the neti pot can be an easy, effective, and cheap method to help you deal with upper respiratory problems without the side effects of medications or the time and investment placed in other activities. So be sure to learn the process and keep a stock of all these items, and the next time a blocked nose irritates you, all you would have to do is this simple procedure, and you will be breathing easy in no time.